It's impossible to get bored at Essex

The squares are always buzzing with life so you'll always find something to do.

Try something new, rediscover an old hobby or find your voice. You can choose from arts, sports clubs and societies to make your Essex experience unforgettable.

Sports, clubs and societies

This is your chance to pursue your passion. You can meet like-minded people try out something new with our Students' Union's sports clubs and societies, or take part in some of our sports activities at Essex Sport.

From the departmentally-focused and culturally-based to the downright weird and wonderful (Harry Potter Society, anyone?), there's an SU society for everyone. Whether you enjoy cringing through those 'so-bad-they're-good' films, have a passion for cheese and wine, want to gain even more support and experience in your subject, or just want to see some friendly faces from your home country, the chances are there'll be a club or society for you to join.

If you can't find what you're looking for, why not set one up?

You can also become a member of our Essex Sport community, and gain access to the facilities in our £12 million multi-purpose Sports Arena, home to the Essex Rebels.


Man wearing University of Essex Football Club shirt
"I joined 11 societies in my first year and never looked back. I'm now part of the executive committees of four, and I try to get involved with everything, and so far, I've loved every minute of it!" 
Kit Cherry-Hulley


We are the proud home of ESCALA, a world-renowned Latin American art collection. We also offer opportunities for students to hone their creative skills at our Art Exchange gallery. 

Our Lakeside Theatre also hosts internationally acclaimed plays, live music, performances by our own (incredibly talented) drama students, and you can get involved through the regular open mic nights, show auditions and creative workshops. 

The Essex Bucket List

Check out our Essex Bucket List, brought to you by Essex student Ania Romankiewicz who is studying BA Modern Languages.

1. Perform at the open mic

Every Friday night, the Lakeside Theatre hosts Open Mic night, so you can share any talent or thought you have in the cosy and friendly atmosphere of the Theatre Cafe. The mic and stage are yours, so you can show off whatever you like; from singing to playing an instrument, to dancing, to reading a poem or a manifesto, to doing a magic trick.

Open Mic night)
Open Mic night

2. Ride on the library lift

The Paternoster list in the Library at our Colchester Campus amazes everyone when they see it for the first time because it never stops. You step into it while it's moving and step out while it's moving too, and it just goes round and round. The rules do say you shouldn't do a full circle with the lifts, so don't do it... ever...

3. Go to Subzero nightclub

SubZero is the nightclub at our Colchester Campus. Some people say it's awesome, some people say it's not quite so. You have to give it a try at least once!

4. Go on a year abroad

The likelihood is, you'll only get one chance in your life to do this, so get out of your comfort zone and step into the unknown. Living in a new place and in a different culture is destined to be a life-changing experience, so don't miss out!

Find out more with Essex Abroad.

5. Visit the Art Exchange

The place where exhibitions, talks with artists and art classes happen, is on our Colchester Campus and it's free for students. Have a break and just show up at the Art Exchange or get involved with one of the art sessions. Get those creative juices flowing; shake your booty in a dance class, free your energy in African drumming or capture a naked yogi with some chalk and paper with life drawing.

Art Exchange)
Art Exchange

6. Have a BBQ by the lakes

Gather your friends, bring some food to share with everyone, some instruments, games and just enjoy a chilled afternoon by the lakes with the ducklings, rabbits and squirrels. 

7. Take part in fundraising, manifestation or protest

Make some noise for the right cause. Become an activist and support any project you think is right and worth shouting about. At Essex you have a chance to express your views and not be criticised for it. With such a multi-cultural community on campus, you'll always find people that share your views and want to unite for a good cause. Even the smallest change is a step forward, so find your voice and use it!

Human Rights chalking of the university steps)
Human Rights chalking of the university steps

8. Put a lock on the SU family wall

It's not quite the Lock Bridge in Paris, but what better way to leave your mark on Essex forever by writing your initials on a padlock and locking yourself to campus (not literally of course!)

SU Family padlocks)
SU Family padlocks